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The Key Word Is Terrorist

Bill Neinast


On May 2, 1995, the late Colonel Jack Norton (originally Nussbaum) wrote this to his god-son, my son Bill Neinast, Jr.:

“I remember so well my experiences in my hometown, Bautzen near Dresden, on Krystallnackt, November 9, 1938.  After all sorts of indignities from mobs of ordinary burgers, my family, an aunt’s family and a third family were hiding out in a 5th floor apartment at the Post Platz.  Two of the fathers had escaped based on my warnings early in the morning.  The third father was already taken away by the Gestapo.

“When some of the more despicable German/Bautzner citizens learned of our location, hundreds streamed into the Post Platz.  They screamed death to the Jews and yelled for us to jump out of the window.  Finally, Nazis in uniform came storming up the stairs to do the job.  My mother threw the window open and showed at the window sill our group ready to jump.  Three women, one of whom had already become insane, and five children.  The people screaming for us to jump never stopped.  And yet, for some reason I still cannot fathom, the advance of the Nazis on the stairs stopped.  The rest of the story is too long.  We escaped during the night, hid in a cave, nearly starved, etc.”

Norton and one of his brothers managed to get out of Germany and to the U.S.  His mother, father, sister, and another brother died in Nazis concentration camps.

Near the end of WWII, Norton was in the U.S. Army unit that liberated the Nazis’ Hadamar Death Camp.  He captured one of the nurses in the camp who had administered many of the lethal injections to the mentally disabled and severely wounded or disabled German soldiers.  As an Infantry Lieutenant Platoon Leader in Korea, he earned the Silver Star, which he would describe only as “Doing what I had to do to save my men.”

The Norton family comes to mind every time a rant against Muslims appears in the news.  The correlation is religion.

A safe assumption is that more than 90% of the mob gathered on the Post Platz in Bautzen and at many other localities throughout Germany on Krystallknact, the 9/11 for German Jews, were Christians.

Consider those Christian terrorists on the backdrop of the two centuries of the Crusades during the middle ages.  From 1095 to 1291 marauding bands of Christian knights murdered, pillaged, and burned through much of the Middle East that had become inhabited by Muslims.

Body counts of enemy casualties were not common in those days.  Records indicate, however, that several hundred thousand soldiers under the Papacy roamed Asia Minor all the way to Jerusalem. So it is not unreasonable to assume that at least an equal number of  innocent men, women, and children died at their  hands.

The Church, in fostering these Crusades, promised religious and secular benefits to those who took part in them. For example, a warrior of the Cross was to enjoy forgiveness of all his past sins.

Sound familiar?  Consider, in this regard, the six promises for Muslim jihadists who become “shahids” or martyrs. 

A shahid who dies fighting for the faith, is assured an immediate entrance to the joys of Paradise. He sees his place in Paradise where he will live in the highest Heaven and in the world of angels, eating, drinking, walking and enjoying himself. A crown of honor will be placed on his head and he will have 72 Dark-Eyed wives.

So here’s the perspective.

The only hope of a peaceful solution to the long, protracted war in which we are engaged requires a precise definition of the enemy. Contrary to the belief of some, Muslims are not the enemy.

This brief history of the Crusades, the Nazis genocide, and the Muslim Jihads must be remembered in defining the enemy.  By any measure of that history, there is as much blood on the hands of Christian terrorists as on the hands of Muslim jihadists or terrorists.

The key word is terrorist.

Today, 32% of the world population is Christian.  A minuscule portion of that population may be terrorists.  A similar portion of the 2.1 billion Muslims making up 23% of the population may be jihadists or terrorists.

Only a tiny fraction of Christians were the terrorists of the Crusades and Nazi genocide.  Similarly, only tiny cells of Muslims are jihadists interested in martyring themselves in order to enter Paradise.

Remember, those promises of immediate entrance to Paradise and 72 virgins are for jihadist martyrs only.  They do not apply to the more than two billion other Muslims among us who are as peace loving as the Christians among them.

Obviously, terrorists come in many forms.  Currently, however, there is a tendency to think of terrorists only as “Muslim terrorists.”  That dangerously and unnecessarily limits the search for terrorists to individuals with Arab appearance.